18 - 22 January
I hope you, your family, friends and colleagues are well.
This week has been another devastating week for many families in Hounslow. We have now had over 100 deaths since 1st January 2021. COVID-19 is taking a terrible toll on residents and families in the borough, and the worst is still to come. Although infection rates are falling, they’re not falling quickly enough, as we saw this week with our very high position in the list of London Boroughs for infection rates.
These high numbers are putting our local NHS under great strain and, sadly, will mean more deaths. You must do everything you can to protect yourself, your family and friends.
Please read all of the information below which will help you do that.
We are in a national lockdown. This means you are required to stay at home, only leaving your home for essential activities, or where there is a permitted reason outlined in the Government guidance. As well as following the national rules, it’s really important that we all continue with the three basic steps which help stop the spread of coronavirus; wash your hands regularly, wear a face covering, and keep space.
Here in Hounslow we have established rapid testing facilities for members of the community who do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Rapid tests are an incredibly useful way to reduce the spread of the virus. If you cannot work from home, I urge you to get tested, regularly, to help protect yourself and your loved ones. Around 3,500 Hounslow residents have now taken Lateral Flow rapid COVID-19 tests at Hounslow House and Heston Library, and the new sites at Wellington Day Centre and Isleworth Library. You can book a FREE rapid test online via the Council’s website www.hounslow.gov.uk/rapidtest or by phone on 0207 084 9697.
Those who do have COVID-19 symptoms, such as a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, a change to, or loss of, smell or taste, should self-isolate and book a ‘PCR test’. You can book an appointment or order a home testing kit via the government’s website www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, the NHS COVID-19 app or by calling 119.
While this is a very worrying time for many residents and families, I would like to As we have been throughout this crisis, the Council is here to support those who may need extra help. The Hounslow Community Hub is supporting residents throughout lockdown and beyond. If you or someone you know needs help and support, please contact the Hub on 020 7084 9697 or at Hub@hounslow.gov.uk
Residents who meet the eligibility criteria and those who have no recourse to public funds can apply for the Emergency Grant for food and essential supplies. Please read more on the Council’s website to check if you can apply: Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant
We know individuals and families are all wrestling with a range of challenges and this is an incredibly difficult time. There is a wide range of support available with more information at https://www.hounslow.gov.uk/coronavirus
There is also support available from local food banks who can help with food supplies. You can find the details of those who are listed on the Council’s website and how to contact them here: Emergency food support
I would also like to remind our businesses of the financial support available for those impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Please read more on the council’s website for Grant support for businesses impacted by COVID 19 restrictions to check which grants you are eligible for and how to apply.
I know this isn’t simply about people ignoring the rules. Most people are doing their bit and following the rules. But where we have high numbers of people who have to travel to work, often on busy public transport and to busy workplaces, and also have many residents living in crowded homes with a wide range of age groups, then all this puts them at greater risk.
Everyone must redouble their efforts to follow the rules because at the moment too many people are getting infected. You must stay at home as much as you possibly can. If you do have to leave, remember – hands, face, space. Anyone choosing to ignore the rules is making a choice to put themselves, and their friends and family at risk. They are making a choice which results in vulnerable people dying.
Stay safe and follow the rules.